Rachel Sparks, M.D.

Lab of Immune System Biology

NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, MD

Rachel Sparks, M.D.

Assistant Clinical Investigator

Contact: For contact information, search the NIH Enterprise Directory.

Specialty(s): Allergy and Immunology, Internal Medicine
Provides direct clinical care to patients at NIH Clinical Center

Photo of Rachel Sparks, M.D.
  • Systems immunology approaches to investigate human immune dysregulation and immunodeficiency
  • Using multi-omics data to design targeted drug therapy trials
  • Understanding vaccine response variation in different immunological backgrounds

Program Description

Dr. Sparks leads a multidisciplinary team of basic scientists, bioinformaticians, and clinical staff with the goal of using systems biology approaches to study the human immune system in health and disease. Her research focuses on (1) evaluation of both known and unknown immunological disorders to better understand the molecular underpinnings of these diseases, uncover correlates of disease subtypes to help improve diagnosis and prognosis, and identify potential novel treatment targets with the goal of therapeutic trials, and (2) using vaccination and systems immunology to probe the immune system of both healthy individuals and those with immunological disorders.



M.D., The University of Washington

Dr. Sparks completed her M.D. and residency training in internal medicine at the University of Washington. She went on to do her clinical fellowship training in allergy & immunology at NIAID and conducted her fellowship research with Dr. John Tsang in the Laboratory of Immune System Biology (LISB) using systems biology to study human immune deficiency and dysregulation. In 2019, Dr. Sparks was appointed as an Assistant Clinical Investigator in the LISB through the NIAID Transition Program in Clinical Research.

Clinical Studies

Sample collection from healthy volunteers for assay optimization (Principal Investigator; NCT03538600)

Systems analyses of the immune response to the seasonal influenza vaccine (Principal Investigator; NCT04025580)

Sample collection for systems evaluation of patients with unknown or incompletely characterized immune defects (Principal Investigator; NCT04408950)

A Phase 1/2 Open-label Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Tofacitinib for Chronic Granulomatous Disease with Inflammatory Complications (Lead Associate Investigator: NCT05104723)

Selected Publications

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